Why Choose Nazareth for Music Therapy?

Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship. Board-certified music therapists (MT-BCs) work in medical, psychiatric, and educational settings to help clients improve psychological and physiological functioning.

The music therapy degree program at Nazareth College, approved by the American Music Therapy Association, studies the impact of melody, harmony, and rhythm on children and adults with physical, communication, emotional, and cognitive disabilities. You'll participate in hands-on clinical training, working directly with clients both in the community and in Nazareth's on-campus Music Therapy Clinic, part of the College's York Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute. Nazareth is the only college that offers this program within 120 miles of Rochester. 

As part of clinical practice, you'll learn to improvise and compose music for guitar and piano. You will work in a number of educational and healthcare settings, and complete six-month internships at the culmination of your degree program.

Program Highlights

  • Music therapy majors gain clinical practice skills through musical proficiency, research, and direct clinical experience, to pursue clinical practice or advanced degrees.
  • Completion of the curriculum and clinical training approved by the American Music Therapy Association makes you eligible to sit for the national certification examination in music therapy administered by the Certification Board of Music Therapists (MT-BC).

Program Options, Requirements, and Course Descriptions

Related Majors

Discover more offerings at Nazareth:

How to Audition

Auditions are required for this major. View audition details.

Contact Information

Betsey O. King

Betsey O. King

Associate Professor of Music Therapy in Music
Associate Professor of Music / Music Therapy in Creative Arts Therapy Department
Music House 25

Education: B.M., University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory; M.M.T., Southern Methodist University; Ph.D., University of Kansas

Teaching and Research Interests: Integrative Music Therapy; rehabilitation of speech and language in adults: evidence-based practice in medicine and gerontology.

Read full bio.

See answers to frequently asked questions.

Jessica Jarvis, alumna of the music therapy major, music therapy degree program at Nazareth College

Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Jarvis ‘11

A six-month internship at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, led to a full-time job there for Jessica Jarvis (left) as one of three board-certified music therapists. In a Texas Medical Center story, Jarvis said, "To see the joy in a mom’s eyes when her child gets up and walks for the first time because it’s easier with music as a stimulation and motivation… I see music therapy making a real difference in my patients." Jarvis is also working on a doctorate in rehabilitation sciences, to advance research in the field.

Example Careers

  • School music therapist
  • Gerontology specialist
  • Mental health clinician
  • Medical music therapist

Internships/Field Experiences

  • Strong Memorial Hospital
  • Hospice Buffalo
  • The Wildwood School, VA

Graduate Schools/Employers

  • Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong Memorial Hospital
  • West Palm Beach Hospice
  • Saint Barnabas Medical Center, NJ
  • Giant Steps Autism Treatment, CT
  • Drexel University
  • Florida State University
Music Therapy "Awesomeness"

What is it really like to be a music therapy student at Naz?

Volunteering at an elementary school, working in a clinic on campus, and co-disciplinary experience make the music therapy major an exciting and integrative program with real world experience.

Read about Conner Burry's experience as a music therapy major at Naz.